MOTORBASE SEEKING SILVERWARE IN CHESHIRE
Motorbase Performance is heading the Oulton Park this weekend (11/12 June) for the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship as the squad continues its pursuit of a first race victory of 2022 in Cheshire.
Ahead of Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the campaign, NAPA Racing UK driver Ash Sutton – the reigning BTCC Champion – is second in the title race after a successful outing at ultra-fast Thruxton a little over a week ago where he delivered three superb race drives.
Charging to a clean sweep of third-place podium finishes, adding to the podium he achieved during the opening event of the season at Donington Park, Sutton is proving the old adage ‘consistency is key’, and especially so in a category as hotly contested as the BTCC.
Team-mate Dan Cammish has endured a dose of misfortune so far this season but having exemplified his pace throughout the opening events, and making his 100th BTCC start this weekend, the 33-year-old is aiming for a return to form at Oulton Park.
Following a car fire in qualifying at Donington back in April, Cammish’s season couldn’t have started in a more vexing fashion but he hit back at Brands Hatch Indy with a brace of podiums and was extremely close to claiming NAPA Racing UK’s first win. Last time out at Thruxton, though, misfortune returned when contact during two races saw him finish out of the points in each encounter.
In the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan camp, Ollie Jackson – much like Cammish – will be targeting a change in fortunes after a troublesome Thruxton weekend. With an unusual power issue forcing race one retirement, an engine change was then required which ruled him out of most of race two as well. In the third contest, though, he gained ten places from the back of the grid with a great drive.
Sam Osborne achieved his first outright points finish of 2022 during the last of the Thruxton races, a very pleasing drive into the top 15 from 23rd on the grid, and is aiming to add to that at Oulton Park a few days from now. Osborne is looking forward to the visit to Cheshire much more so than he did the trip to Thruxton, so that bodes well for the coming weekend’s action.
In the BTCC Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship, Motorbase Performance/Ford continues to hold second position in the standings on 222 points – just 25 points shy of the top. NAPA Racing UK is third in the BTCC Teams Championship, Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan is in 12th place.
“I’m looking forward to Oulton Park, it’s a circuit you’ve got to really attack which certainly suits my style!” said Sutton. “We’re heading into the weekend with a bit of momentum after scoring a podium finish in each race at Thruxton, so the aim has to be to continue that and score more big points. We’ve made a good step forward with the car, if we can get dialled in and hit the ground running then hopefully we’re in for a good weekend.”
“Our season starts here really, we’ve got to hit the ground running at Oulton and take away three very strong and consistent results,” added Cammish. “It’s been a frustrating beginning to the championship for us, apart from the podiums at Brands of course, and I really was in disbelief after Thruxton. We got caught up in other people’s incidents and the weekend became a write-off. I’m more determined than ever now to show what we’re made of and get back on that podium.”
“More than anything I’m aiming for consistency this weekend at Oulton,” proclaimed Jackson,” especially after the difficulties we faced at Thruxton – although the team did a fantastic job to get the engine changed between races one and two. Oulton is a fantastic track, a great challenge for any driver and a circuit where you really have to be committed. I’m looking forward to it and aiming for some good points.”
“It was obviously good to get my first overall point of the season at Thruxton,” concluded Osborne. “It was a tough weekend and we had to work really hard, but we made some progress. I much prefer Oulton, it’s a great track and I hope we can make a strong start in practice and then build from there. Qualifying will be important, so I’m aiming for the top 15 and see what we can do from there.”
Free practice at Oulton Park on Saturday (11 June) will get underway at 0945 with the second session starting at 1225 and qualifying – which will be streamed live online at www.itv.com/btcc – following at 1530.
On Sunday (12 June), Round 10 will begin at 1220, with the second contest following at 1425 and the final encounter at 1710. Races one and two will be screened live on the main ITV channel, with coverage starting at 1210, while race three will be live on ITV4 after the race day programme switches over from 1505.